I don’t want to be a champion. I don’t want to be a hero. I don’t want to be a great football player. I want to be a good trainer and get my trainer into the Hall of Fame on the first try, and hopefully make a second one in the league and then maybe two. I have one foot in the ring, and one in the trough.
How do you decide what is your best horse?
I don’t give a lot of thought to race type or any of that nonsense. I just decide what’s easiest for it to do, and if I don’t like it or I see something that looks like it’s too easy, I change it. You need to have a good horse for a winner race. I’m not afraid to mess with things like this or something like this. But if a guy wants to win as a trainer, I’m out.
But you do like the challenge?
I like to train really tough horses and that’s just how I’ve always done it. One day I will retire and move on to somewhere else, but I never thought of not training, and if I did I didn’t do it because I knew my heart was in it.
How much did it cost you to buy your horse?
I didn’t pay anything except a million bucks. I paid $100,000 and I won, and I got the trophy. And the fact the [horse] won in a pre-race press conference is what made it so special for me.
Who were the other trainers who paid a price for such an easy ride?
John Jovanovich. He was trying to get me to let him go, and if I had done that I’d have lost all that money, because I’d lost $100,000 in my own pocket and then I needed to get my trainer into the Hall of Fame, because he’s one of the greatest trainers ever.
He’s a one-half of [Gail] Fisher’s great running team, and she’s the great trainer of all time. And so [Jovanovich] bought a horse, took him to the track so we’d try it, put him in a cage and gave him a free pass. And we raced him with no ropes or a harness; he went down the entire race. He was not an easy horse to train, and I can’t imagine anybody riding him or training him like that. It’s just one
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